Information gathered during review of proactive publication of Cabinet Papers

Andrew Ecclestone made this Official Information request to State Services Commission

The request was partially successful.

From: Andrew Ecclestone

Dear State Services Commission,

In your response to this OIA request (https://fyi.org.nz/request/11989-review-...), you stated that:

"The SSC engaged with agencies on the proactive release of Cabinet material policy between August and October 2019.
A sector wide forum in August 2019 was followed by smaller group and one-on-one sessions with the agencies that produce the majority of Cabinet papers (those that lodged 10 or more papers between the implementation of the policy on 1 January 2019 and 30 September 2019).
This information was supplemented by information estimating the number of papers released, and information on the number of papers lodged, provided by the Cabinet Office."

Request 1: Please provide a list of all the agencies the SSC (a) contacted and (b) 'engaged with' on the proactive release of Cabinet material policy between August and October 2019.

Request 2: Please provide a copy of all meeting notes made (a) at the sector wide forum in August 2019, (b) the smaller group meeting(s), and (c) the one-on-one meetings.

Request 3: Please also provide any emails received from agencies (including those relating to SSC's own performance) and their attachments that provided information used in assessing the effectiveness and impact of the policy. For any that are withheld, please provide the name of the agency, and the date(s) of the communications in question, and a description of the information withheld.

Request 4: Please also provide the estimate of number of papers released and any information held relating to the methodology for producing this estimate.

SSC's response to my earlier response referred me to some slides shown to attendees at the Official Information Forum of August 2019 (https://ssc.govt.nz/assets/SSC-Site-Asse...). On slide 5, it is stated that the objectives of the policy included "To establish a process for the proactive release of more government information (to increase its availability, enable more effective public participation and promote the accountability of Ministers and officials)"

Request 5: Please provide the information held that relates to how SSC would assess whether proactive disclosure had succeeded in enabling 'more effective public participation', and the information gathered in that context.

Request 6: Please provide all information held that relates to seeking information from people outside government departments and Ministers' offices on the effectiveness of the policy of proactive release of Cabinet material.

Pursuant to section 16 of the OIA, my preferred method of receiving this information is as electronic attachments to an email sent to the address from which the Commission received this request. Also pursuant to section 16 of the OIA I request that the attachments are provided in the original file format in which they were created, and not as image-only (rasterised) PDF documents, and that they are not watermarked with ‘Released under the OIA’ or similar text, as the law does not require the Commission to do this.

Under section 19(a)(ii), if the Commission decides to withhold any of the requested information I have requested, I further request that it provides me with the grounds in support of any reasons for withholding that it has asserted. I also ask that it list each of the public interest factors favouring disclosure that it has considered when making its decision.

I look forward to hearing from the Commission as soon as reasonably practicable.

Kind regards,

Andrew Ecclestone

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From: SSC Enquiries
State Services Commission


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Dear Mr Ecclestone

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your OIA request below.

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in
any event no later than are 20 working days after the day your request was
received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will
notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact Ministerial Services.
If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your
request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken
into account.

Our letter notifying you of our decision on your request will confirm if
we intend to publish the letter (with your personal details removed) and
any related documents on the State Services Commission’s website.

Kind regards,

SSC Enquiries 
email: [1][email address]

 Te Kawa Mataaho | State Services [4][IMG][5][IMG][6][IMG] [7][IMG]
Commission
 [2]www.ssc.govt.nz | [3]www.govt.nz  

 

 

 

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From: SSC Enquiries
State Services Commission


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Attachment SSCOIA 2020 0019 OIA RELEASE DOCUMENTS Andrew Ecclestone Information gathered during review of proactive publication of Cabinet Papers.pdf
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Attachment SSCOIA 2020 0019 REPLY Andrew Ecclestone Information gathered during review of proactive publication of Cabinet Papers.pdf
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Dear Mr Ecclestone

 

Please find attached our response to your OIA below.

 

Kind regards

 

SSC Enquiries 
email: [1][email address]

 Te Kawa Mataaho | State Services [4][IMG][5][IMG][6][IMG] [7][IMG]
Commission
 [2]www.ssc.govt.nz | [3]www.govt.nz  

 

 

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

I see the State Services Commission has ignored this part of your request:

"Also pursuant to section 16 of the OIA I request that the attachments are provided in the original file format in which they were created, and not as image-only (rasterised) PDF documents, and that they are not watermarked with ‘Released under the OIA’ or similar text, as the law does not require the Commission to do this."

As you know, section 16(3) of the OIA requires that any agency must provide a good reason when they decide to not provide information in the format preferred by the requester. The SSC has not done this.

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